OPINION

'Spin Masters' Paint a Prosperous, Unreal Economy

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City.

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City.  (2013 Getty Images)

You really have to grant it to them. This White House has taken political spinning to new heights. Having been involved in politics the better part of my adult life, I can see and smell spin a mile away. I understand the need for politicians to do it; whether the audience buys it is another thing. But you cannot blame politicians for trying.

A new word, “spin master,” now exists to refer to people who come up with “spin.” Spin masters are paid handsomely for their work. Some would say they are masters of deceit because they have to come up with a story line that takes a bad situation and paints it in the best of terms. Clearly the shenanigans of this administration demand that its spin masters try very hard to come up with those story lines.  

Hispanics are the only demographic group for which median income declined from 2011 to 2012. Under the President’s watch, 2.6 million more Hispanics have fallen into poverty.  

- Rosario Marin, Former U.S. Treasurer

Take for example what happened on Monday. President Obama had a much choreographed press event surrounded by different stakeholders: small-business owners, construction workers, homeowners, consumers, and tax cut recipients, to tout his impressive economic accomplishments. The event was specifically timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the failure of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the ensuing economic recession.  

If you listened to what he said, oh my, there was so much to be celebrated! Thank God Obama was in charge! What an amazing job he has done! Truly remarkable! Well, that ecstasy lasted less than 24 hours because the very next day census figures from his administration came out and painfully painted a very different picture.

I certainly cannot imagine the president saying he is so proud that under his watch 46.5 million Americans are now living in poverty. In other words, the poverty rate under Obama has increased from 13.2 percent to 15 percent. Since the president took over, 6.7 million more Americans have fallen into poverty.  

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Another tragic statistic from the census report: Hispanics are the ONLY demographic group for which median income declined from 2011 to 2012. Under the President’s watch, 2.6 million more Hispanics have fallen into poverty.  

If we couple this very sad news with the August jobs report, we find the economic situation is much bleaker than what the president flaunted. Whether one reads the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal, the consensus is sobering: the job market is weaker than it appears and maybe getting worse. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work has fallen to its lowest level in 35 years, as reported by the Associated Press.

According to the most recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, a lot of the skepticism in hiring is due to the uncertainty of Obamacare. Sixty-one percent of businesses in that study do not have plans to hire in the next year, 27 percent said that they will cut hours or reduce the number of full-time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full-time employees with part-time workers.

What a difference a day makes. One thing is for certain, given the current state of the economy the spin masters have their jobs secured…spin, spin, spin.

Rosario Marin was the 41st Treasurer of the United States and is co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance.

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